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  • Readers' Poll Winners

    Best Adult Toy Shop Good Vibrations Best Tattoo Shop Idle Hand Best Auto Repair Cowden Automotive Best Bookstore Aardvark Best Boutique Ambiance Best Car Dealership San Francisco Toyota Best Dentist Tie: Blair Keck, DDS; Aaron Rose, DDS; Washington Square Park Dental; South Beach Dental Best Dry Cleaner Tie: BrainWash, Laundry Locker Best Eyewear Store Veo Optics Best Farmers Market Ferry Building Best Head Shop Goodfellas Best Lingerie Store Victoria's Secret Best Massage Suchada Thai Best Record Store Amoeba Best Shoe Store Shoe Biz Best Vintage Shop Goodwill Best Salon Glama-Rama… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy New Books

    City Lights

    San Francisco's status as one of America's best book cities was somewhat threatened by closures over the last decade (RIP Stacey's and A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books). But City Lights is still going strong, and remains a linchpin of the city's robust literary life. Atmospheric and well-stocked, the store's three stories offer a broad and idiosyncratic selection that is… More >>
  • Best Reminder That Comics Are Awesome

    Isotope — The Comic Book Lounge

    Comic books are a cultural staple, but truly special comic book shops are few and far between. Isotope doesn't just take comics seriously — it takes store design seriously, too. It's stylishly outfitted with space-age décor: red-and-white sofas, black countertops, chrome accents. The checkout counter is a repurposed wet bar that's been upholstered to match the furniture. And the store's… More >>
  • Best Little Thrift Store That Could

    31 Rax

    Our city's wealth of thrift and vintage shops provide us with everything we could ever want, from kitsch to costumes to tonight's for-real outfit, but all too often at prices we'd expect from a boutique. 31 Rax, which opened just last year, is an exception, and it has soared to the top of our list of cheap-yet-chic must-shop stops. The… More >>
  • Best Reliable Vintage

    Wasteland

    Perched in the middle of Haight Street's vintage strip, Wasteland is to vintage shopping what kindergarten is to later grades: It's warm, fun, and everything that great second-hand shopping is supposed to be, without any of the work. With no weird odors, no tightly packed racks, and clothing ranging from modern to funky retro garb, it's easy to find something… More >>
  • Best Vintage Worth Saving Up For

    La Rosa Vintage

    La Rosa has the vintage collection everyone with a seriously nostalgic fashion sense dreams of. The gorgeously curated shop has a museum-like feel, offering pieces well worth emptying your savings account for: classic Chanel jewelry, or tooled leather pumps without a scuff on their soles. A favorite stop for retro-fashion icon Dita Von Teese, this little shop has much more… More >>
  • Best D.I.Y. Pot Shop, as in Ceramics

    Terra Mia Decorative Art Studio

    Tucked in among Noe Valley's chic boutiques, bakeries, and restaurants is this delightfully free-form ceramics studio. Wander in, pick an unfinished piece of pottery from the shelf, and paint it any way you like. Would-be ceramic artists can choose from plates, goblets, big serving bowls, clocks, and a variety of figurines, and enhance them with a veritable rainbow of glazes.… More >>
  • Best Doggy Clothing Accessories

    Hazel & Gertie's

    Dear downtown suit people, you know how much you wish your dog could look as smart and dapper as you do? Well, now it can, because Hazel & Gertie's sells a full range of distinguished neckties made exclusively for pooches (though we're pretty sure they'd fit cats too, if that's your thing). There's also a delightful range of doggy bandannas,… More >>
  • Best Source of Old School Star Wars Swag

    Super 7

    Warning: This hive of scum and villainy is dangerous if you don't know what you're walking into. There you are, showing a tourist friend around the Upper Haight, minding your own business, and the next thing you know, you're staring down a giant cabinet full of vintage Star Wars toys, wondering if you can justify buying three Ewoks today. Before… More >>
  • Best Tech Zine

    VentureBeat

    VentureBeat is that happy marriage of technology, enterprise, and culture—a zine covering Silicon Valley startups and innovators for both the tech-savvy and -illiterate. Dedicated to helping business leaders, investors, and consumers make decisions on where to put their money, the site is the brainchild of Matt Marshall, an ex-correspondent for the Wall Street Journal and San Jose Mercury News who… More >>
  • Best Video Store

    Lost Weekend Video

    Stop giving perfectly good money to Netflix and go in here instead. We're not saying that just so you'll support a local, independent business (though that's valid too), we're saying it because everyone who works here is like a little encyclopedia of movie nerdism. The staff's recommendations are illuminating, the movie collection is exhaustive and well organized, and best of… More >>
  • Best Weird Homemade Onesie Selection

    Needles & Pens

    You probably know that there's always been many wondrous things on display in Needles & Pens — a wealth of zines, handmade jewelry, hair accessories, bags, pins, patches, punk rock and alt-culture books, greeting cards, and a gallery consistently filled with cutting-edge artwork. But what might be news is the shop's select, unique clothing for all ages, including unusual onesies… More >>
  • Best Place to Leave Your Heart (and the Rest of You)

    Neptune Society Columbarium

    At the turn of the 20th century, San Francisco's Board of Supervisors voted to ban all burials within the city, sparking the movement of thousands of deceased residents to Colma. Currently, the number of dead in Colma drastically outnumbers the number of living, and San Franciscans hoping to be buried here in the city are hard-pressed to find a location… More >>
  • Best Public Restroom

    New People, level 2F

    There's a lot to love at New People in Japantown. The cafe on level 1F offers delicious, locally sourced fare such as Blue Bottle Coffee, organic hot dogs from Underdog, and Japanese gourmet rice balls by Onigilly, while the store on level M stocks impressive books, gifts, and gewgaws from Japan and elsewhere. Then there's the theater on level B,… More >>
  • Best Vintage Fanzine Store

    Goteblüd

    Boasting the largest collection of vintage fanzines and related paper ephemera in San Francisco, Goteblüd is the rare newer business that actually contributes to the Mission's artistic character and legacy. Once visitors are buzzed in to the clandestine nook off Valencia Street, they are greeted by the owner, Matt Wobensmith, founder of Outpunk Records and former publisher of the zine… More >>
  • Best Volunteer-Run Punk Rock Record Store

    Thrillhouse Records

    As both a record label and retail store, Thrillhouse Records operates with tireless commitment to the independent, DIY ethic. The shop's vast record selection, focused on punk, hardcore, and garage, is strictly ordered through independent distributors with careful curatorial discretion by the volunteer staff. There are no major label titles stocked at Thrillhouse. Instead, the inventory revolves around the limited… More >>
  • Best Place to Pick Up Plates

    Kamei Restaurant Supply

    This Inner Richmond home-and-commercial foodie supply shop teems with sushi boats, chopsticks for kids, and aisle upon aisle of plates, bowls, and cups, ranging from the basic blue-and-white dishes spotted at Chinatown restaurants to those cute animal mugs sold at double the price in Bay Area gift shops. Kamei also has almost everything that you might need to cook the… More >>
  • Best Next Place to Search for That Elusive Slab of Vinyl

    Grooves

    Yeah, yeah, everyone goes to Amoeba. But where do you look if scouring the former bowling alley doesn't turn up your prize — or if you just don't feel like braving the Upper Haight? Grooves is a great place to continue the hunt. And even if you're not looking for anything in particular, it's a fine place for a music… More >>
  • Best 24-Hour Laundromat

    Clean Wash Center

    Situated at the intersection of several of the Excelsior's main drags, Clean Wash Center's giant, showroom-like washing area offers banks upon banks of high-powered, high-volume machines, and corresponding banks of windows for your people-watching pleasure. And this spin cycle never sleeps. Clothes go in and out 24 hours a day, and customers enjoy free wifi, a giant television screen, and… More >>
  • Best Knife Shop

    Town Cutler

    Nothing cuts like a knife. And nothing cuts through a good time and straight into badness like a dull edge, or worse, the wrong blade for the job. Peeler or parer, Santoku or steak, shop proprietor Galen Garretson will breathe new life into your favorite chef's tool via a time-honored, multiple-stage sharpening involving Japanese whetstones and a classic leather strop… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Grocery

    Haight Street Market

    The essential neighborhood amenity is not the beer garden, coffee shop, or sandwich counter. It's the food store, where your essence itself is nourished — literally, as in amino acids to fuel brain activity and locomotion. If the food store includes all of the above extras, as well as the quality of a Rainbow Grocery, the price point of a… More >>
  • Best Police Station

    SFPD's Tenderloin Station

    The San Francisco Police Department's most colorful posting is also the city's smallest. These officers work some of San Francisco's grittiest streets; for their trouble, their station is also the city's newest, built in 2000 to meet the outsize law enforcement needs of the neighborhood. (Before that, it had been a satellite office in the bowels of the Hibernia Bank… More >>
  • Best Museum Store

    SFMOMA Museum Store

    SFMOMA's Museum Store is committed to exceptional modern design, but that doesn't mean a kid on a field trip can't put $5 to good use. Store Director Jana Machin prides herself in meeting every shopper's price point, and has the high sales volume to prove it. In fact, many who come in search of gifts or inspiration are not necessarily… More >>
  • Best Bicycle Commute to and From San Francisco

    Alameda/Oakland Ferry, Ferry Building

    By Keith Bowers The bicycle commute into and out of San Francisco can reveal the worst in humanity. Never mind the hostility from people in cars — a cyclist often has to fight like hell just to get on public transit. The racks on most transbay buses hold only two bikes, so if more than a couple of cyclists on your… More >>
  • Best Medical Marijuana Provider

    SPARC

    SPARC's name embodies what we love about it. It stands for San Francisco Patient and Resource Center, which is unimpeachably earnest — but if you choose to read it as "let's spark one up," that's your choice. Still, earnestness is its defining characteristic, which is timely; President Obama's Justice Department would have a hard time justifying a raid on this place. For… More >>

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